The holiday season is a time when communities come alive with lights, decorations, and a spirit of celebration. Or, at least, it’s meant to be. Unfortunately, holidays can sometimes lead to conflicts and misunderstandings that can create tensions throughout the year.
Stress levels can go up during the holidays as noisy parties continue late into the night, parking spaces become scarce, and decorations encroach on shared spaces. The once-peaceful community begins to fragment, and the holiday season becomes overshadowed by discord.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Everyone in the community – residents and boards alike – can play a role in making it better. When we treat each other with consideration, empathy, and respect we create a harmonious community atmosphere—which is exactly what you want when people are spending time celebrating together!
This holiday season, here are some ways we can work together to create a stronger, more united community for everyone
5 Things Residents Can Do to Make the Holidays Better for All
- Avoid unnecessary disputes: Your community has a set of guidelines that are intended to promote harmonious community living. If you’re decorating your home or planning a holiday gathering, above all else, make sure you know these rules to avoid disputes, violations and even fines. Familiarizing yourself with the rules and communicating them to your guests can go a long way to making sure your holidays are pleasant for everyone involved.
- Decorate thoughtfully: When decorating your home, be mindful of your neighbors. Avoid excessive or overly bright lights that might disturb others, especially if your lights face their bedroom windows! If your decorations make noise or flash, set them on a timer so they don’t disturb others’ sleep. Be sure that any decorations you put up don’t obstruct driver’s views, encroach into common areas or create safety hazards.
- Respect noise levels: Be mindful of noise levels, especially during quiet hours or late at night. Avoid excessive noise that may disturb your neighbors’ peace and quiet, particularly if you’re hosting parties or gatherings.
- Plan for parking: Plan ahead when it comes to parking. If you are hosting guests during the holidays, encourage them to park in designated areas or provide alternative parking suggestions to minimize inconvenience for your neighbors.
- Show consideration for shared spaces: When living in a condominium association or shared community, it is important to be considerate when using shared spaces during the holiday season so that everyone can enjoy these amenities equally.
Remember, being a good neighbor is about showing consideration, respect, and kindness throughout the holiday season and beyond.
5 Things Boards Should Do to Make the Holidays Better for All
But ensuring a happy holiday season isn’t just up to the residents. The Board also plays a role in making a better holiday for all:
- Provide clear guidelines: Communicate clear guidelines regarding holiday decorations and gatherings in the community. These guidelines can help ensure that residents are safe and considerate of others. Share these guidelines early to avoid potential issues or disputes.
- Create a holiday decorating contest: Hold a friendly competition where residents can showcase their creativity through holiday decorations. Residents can enter their homes or balconies into the contest, and the community can vote for their favorites. Offer prizes such as gift cards or community recognition for the winners. (This is also a positive way to communicate decorating guidelines to ensure residents follow the rules.)
- Encourage inclusivity: Create a welcoming atmosphere by promoting diverse holiday celebrations and decor within the community. Encourage residents to celebrate their own holidays and traditions, and ensure that the community’s decorations and events reflect inclusivity and respect for all residents.
- Promote community engagement: Plan community-wide events that encourage residents to come together during the holiday season. These events don’t have to strain the community’s budget. Consider organizing a potluck holiday party or a shared charitable initiative like a toy drive or food pantry collection.
- Practice compassion: Did you know that the board has the power to temporarily halt collection proceedings or waive fines? A small act of compassion, such as delaying punitive actions like foreclosure during the holiday season, can have a profound impact on the lives of residents. Temporarily holding off on such measures for a month or so will not significantly affect the bottom line, but it could mean everything to those personally affected.
By following these suggestions, both residents and boards can contribute to a harmonious and inclusive community during the holiday season. It’s all about fostering respect, community engagement, and shared experiences for a joyful and peaceful holiday atmosphere.
At HOA Strategies, we’re dedicated to helping boards implement policies and programs that enhance community living experiences, not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year. Contact us today to schedule a free strategic evaluation and discover how we can make a difference for your community. Let’s ensure a holiday season filled with warmth, unity, and lasting memories.